Sunday, October 14, 2012

A Long Overdue Update

I started writing tonight for the first time in quite a while.  I was invited to guest write for a blog for a local women's organization and so I sat down at my computer to write.  As those blogs are published, I will post them here.  But, for now, it has come to my attention that my last blog post was in March!  So many things have changed in my life since then and I want to take a moment to share them.

Chicago or Bust!

Most of you know, but for those who don't, in February I moved to the beautiful and windy "Second City".  Well, in truth, I live about 45 minutes North West of Chicago in Elgin, Illinois.  Nick and I had always talked about him finding his way to the South, but the Lord had different plans.  In a time frame that seemed impossible to both of us, the Lord opened the doors for me to move North.  I found someone who was renting a room in a beautiful historic house in Downtown Elgin, packed my car and, with Karlee as co-pilot, headed out on a big adventure.  I may one day write, in detail, about the amazing ways the Lord made it possible for me to move.  So many of my friends and family blessed me in ways for which I can never say thank you enough.  It was truly an overwhelming and humbling time.

Houston, we have a problem...

Karlee and I, packed tightly in my Mustang with many of my belongings, set off on a journey.  We stopped in Atlanta to have breakfast with Jonathan, Joya and Thomas Davis.  Then we detoured through Knoxville to have lunch with my cousins Christy and Jen.  Then it was straight on towards Chicago with more than a few stops at Starbuck's along the way.  We left early on Saturday morning and didn't arrive at Nick's house until well after midnight.  After catching a few winks, we were back up, moved me into my new room and made a trip to IKEA for everything I would need. 

I settled in really quickly and we spent time hanging out while Nick and Karlee got to know each other a little better.  On Monday morning, Karlee and I headed towards the airport and I noticed a problem with my car.  I called Nick to explain what I was hearing and how I wasn't getting any heat when my car completely shut off in the middle of I-90.  I was able to coast to the shoulder where Karlee and I waited for Nick to come rescue us.  He scooped us up, got Karlee to her plane on time and then came back to wait for my car to be towed back to his house.

After a week of diagnostics, he decided that my car had blown a head gasket!  Not exactly the way I wanted to start my life here, but THANK GOD it didn't happen somewhere in the middle of Kentucky!  What grace that God allowed me to make it all the way here where it could become the pet project of a mechanical engineer.  To me, it was completely devestating and overwhelming.  To him, it was nothing but a challenge and a great big puzzle.

We learned a lot about each other and our ability to work as a team during those first few weeks.  We took my engine apart, managed to get it to a machine shop in Chicago to have it remanufactured, and then put it all back together.  I don't know if I've ever been more anxious than the moment I started the new engine for the first time.  It was also the best feeling to have it roar to life!

Fortunately, for me, I was able to work from home for the travel agency.  I can't imagine what I would have done if I'd been committed to a job right away.  Again, the Lord knew what He was doing.  I had hoped to secure a job before I moved,  but the Lord knew what was ahead.

Plastics, my boy - Plastics!

WhileI was working and waiting, Nick's Aunt passed along a possible job opportunity through his Mom.  So, in March, I interviewed for a new job.  However, as this is an area with a high percentage of spanish speakers, they were hoping to find someone bilingual.  So, "no harm, no foul".  It was nice to have the opportunity to interview, but I wasn't desperately searching for a job. 

Truthfully, I wasn't even sure I wanted a new job.  I've worked for my family for 15 years and didn't know how I would like working for someone else.  But, I felt like it was important for me to begin establishing a life here, so I kept praying about the opportunity God had for me.

About a month later, I was called back to the company with which I interviewed and was offered a job.  I was initially hired to be an office administrator and accounting assistant with ADMO, Inc., a local plastic injection molding manufacturer.  Actually, I was hired without a specific job in mind.  My new boss loved the fact that I had come from a family business where I had learned to wear many hats.  So, I worked as an admin for the President of the company, assisted the staff accounting and also managed IT issues.  I really loved it right away!

I started on May 1st and on July 9th, I moved into a new position as Human Resources Administrator.  The Staff Accountant (Her name is Nicole and has truly become a good friend!), was being promoted, so I was given the option of taking over the accounting or stepping into the recently vacated HR role.  After thinking about it and talking it over with Nick, I decided that HR was a great fit for me.  It was the best use of my skill set and I really believed I could excel.  So, I accepted that position and have been learning so much ever since!

I have a boss (who, incidentally is very similar to my Dad) who really wants to teach me.  He's happy to help me learn as I step into this new role in a larger organization.  I feel like I've been thrown into the deep end with the situations I've had to handle in a few short months, but I am very proud of the job I'm doing.  It's very exciting to step into a new industry and a new role and see success.  It's been very encouraging!

A New Harvest

Nick and I have also been attending Harvest Bible Chapel.  It's a HUGE church, especially in comparison with the church I've been a member of for the last 8 years.  I love the teaching and the worship and I am finally beginning to step into a woman's Bible study.  Nick and I have been spending some time with one of the pastors and have been really encouraged by him.  I've truly enjoyed a season of rest since moving here, but I am waiting to see what the Lord would have me do as life moves forward.

I've been at this for a while and probably should hit the hay.  But, I just wanted to let everyone know that while I miss my family and friends in Georgia, I absolutely KNOW that the Lord moved me to Illinois! God has given Nick and I a beautiful story and an amazing chance to be together again.  His family has been amazing, too!  In fact, his sister-in-law, Ashley, was my first friend here.  Drew, Ashley, Tony and Renee have been so welcoming and I love getting to spend time with them.  I love to see Nick's relationships with his brothers.  I have been loved really well by Jackie and Joe all of the way from Seattle and can't wait to see them in person (along with their 3 beautiful boys!).  And, Nick's parents have recently moved back South to Lexington, Kentucky, making them a reasonable drive away.  In fact, we were able to spend Labor Day Weekend with them and had a great time.  I'm loving the life we are building here.

I hope to share, in more detail, about the amazing way God is blessing us.  But, for now, I'm signing off and wishing you all a good night!